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Child Advocacy Center Attends Summit in Rochester

Team members from MHACG's Child Advocacy Center and REACH Center attended the 2024 Bivona Child Abuse Summit in Rochester, NY. The Summit was held April 24 & 25, 2024 at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

During April, we recognize National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the importance of communities working together to support and strengthen families and prevent child maltreatment. Throughout the year, MHACG's Child Advocacy Center works alongside a multidisciplinary team of professionals in law enforcement, Department of Social Services, District Attorney and prosecution, and medical professionals to investigate these cases and provide the therapy necessary for these traumatic experiences.

The Child Abuse Summit is nationally recognized as the premier child abuse conference in the Northern Region. The summit provides a cutting-edge multi-disciplinary training for anyone who works with children and was presented by the Bivona Child Advocacy Center. Whether it be social workers, law enforcement, prosecutors, mental health and medical professionals, school personnel, or event day care providers, this training is a must.

This year, with funding from the Office of Children and Family Services, members of the Columbia and Greene County CAC Multidisciplinary team, including Law Enforcement, Department of Social Services, DA/Prosecution and Medical professionals were in attendance along with MHACG's Child Advocacy Center teams. Multi-disciplinary teams and Child Advocacy Centers from across the region gathered to learn, network, and collaborate on effective ways to prevent, treat, and investigate child abuse.

The Summit featured keynote speaker, Michael Jr. who brings laughter and encouragement to audiences all over the world. Known as one of today's most gifted communicators, Michael Jr. uses comedy and dramatic storytelling to inspire audiences to discover and activate their purpose. He has been on stages like The Tonight Show on NBC, TEDx talks, and Jimmy Kimmel Live.

"Bivona gives MDT and CAC teams an opportunity to come together, learn, and support the difficult work we do on a daily basis. This helps foster a sense of community across New York State so we can collaborate and ensure we are providing the best care for our children and families."

-Valerie Bisi, LMHC

Trauma Therapist | MHACG REACH Center

For more information about MHA of Columbia Greene and its programs, visit

Contact: Paul Taylor Director of Development and Communications Phone: (518) 828-4619 Email:

About the Mental Health Association: MHA of Columbia Greene (MHACG) is one of the largest Mental Health nonprofit 501©(3) organizations serving the twin counties of Columbia and Greene. Founded in 1958, MHACG serves and empowers all individuals through mental health, peer support, education and advocacy, support for survivors of assault, abuse, and trafficking, family support, housing, and substance use recovery. Mental health is health, and we make it our mission to advance mental health as a critical part of the overall health and wellbeing of our communities.

MHACG's Child Advocacy Center provides a centralized hub to connect children and families with care and support. Multiple agencies work together as part of a multi-disciplinary team to simplify the process of care, treatment, and prosecution of alleged child abuse cases.

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